“We Get Pressured All the Time”: Chapek Felt Compelled to Speak on “Don’t Say Gay”

Disney Hits Back in 'Don't Say Gay' Fight

More details have come to light regarding the Walt Disney Company’s tussle with the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, known officially as the Parental Rights in Education Act. Just today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the dissolution of Reedy Creek, Disney’s special district. But this isn’t the only reason it’s a big week for Gov. DeSantis. Florida’s governor has his memoir coming out on Tuesday, “The Courage to be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for American Revival,” and in anticipation, he shared a chapter with the media; an interesting revelation has come to light. It appears former Disney CEO Bob Chapek felt “pressured” to get Disney involved in the politics of it all and speak against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort/Courtesy of Disney

Per recent reports, in his upcoming memoir, Governor DeSantis wrote, “As the controversy over the Parental Rights in Education bill was coming to a head, Chapek called me. He did not want Disney to get involved, but he was getting a lot of pressure to weigh in against the bill.”

In the book, DeSantis also shares that former CEO Bob Chapek said that Disney was pressured to speak on issues all the time but that he’d never seen anything like this before. “This time is different,” Chapek reportedly said.

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis/Courtesy of ABC

Per Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, he urged Chapek not to comment on the bill shared that the company would face 48 hours of outrage when the bill passed, and then after the governor signed it, “mostly online,” Disney would face another 48 hours of outrage before the “woke mob” moved on.

However, as Disney Fanatics know, ultimately, the company did comment on the bill, speaking out against it, which Gov. Ron DeSantis shares was Chapek and Disney “ultimately [caving] to leftist media and activist pressure, and [pressing] the false narrative against the bill.”

Bob Iger Bob Chapek

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek and current Disney CEO Bob Iger/Courtesy of ABC

Bob Chapek commenting on “Don’t Say Gay” spurred on the battle between the Mouse House and Florida’s government, which finally concluded (for now) with Reedy Creek’s dissolution. Current Disney CEO Bob Iger, who returned to the helm in November of last year, has expressed regret at Disney getting involved in the politics of it all and has shared the company will be taking a different strategy but will also continue to do what’s right. For now, it remains to be seen what the future will bring with all these developments, both to the state of Florida and the Walt Disney Company.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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